And he reared up the court round about the tabernacle and the altar, and set up the hanging of the court gate. So Moses finished the work. Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.
There are a lot of things about God that we just can’t understand, things that our finite minds can’t grasp, like His eternal and infinite nature, the trinity, the depths of His wisdom and power, and so much more. These things we have to accept by faith. But there is also a part of God that is visible, in a way, that we can see and know and that offers us an assurance of the realness of His presence. The heavens declare the glory of God. Jesus was a human, fleshly version of God on Earth. But long before Jesus came, the glory of the Lord filled the Israelites’ tabernacle out in the wilderness.
The presence of God comes down first to cover them. He served as their overarching protection and their unfailing guide. And when God’s Spirit enters into us upon our salvation, He becomes our covering and our guide. Covered by the blood of Christ and sealed by His Holy Spirit, we are safe from both the wrath of God that will be unleashed upon His enemies, and our enemies of Satan and sin that seek our destruction. And led by His Spirit, we will also follow the path He has for us to take.
God’s presence comes to fill the tabernacle, so much so that Moses couldn’t enter in. And may the Spirit of God so fill our lives that there is no room for anything else. His influence is to be upon every aspect of our lives. There should be no area untouched by Him. We should allow Him a place to dwell prominently in our lives. Because, lastly, God’s presence also came to abide. This wasn’t supposed to be a temporary thing. This was a committed, long-term relationship. And indeed, Jesus comes to abide in us as we abide in Him. We can know God’s presence so close and have Him with us for the duration of our lives—and, in fact, for all of eternity.
One of the most amazing things about God is that a holy God would choose to dwell with imperfect people. And an infinite God would limit Himself for a time to come as a man and die for our sins. An all-knowing God would create people with free will who could choose to reject Him. A righteous God would forgive sin and give unworthy people unearned blessings. It doesn’t make any sense. But God’s glory in the tabernacle, Jesus’ presence on Earth, and His Holy Spirit indwelling believers proves that we can know God and have a relationship with Him. It proves He will draw near to us as we draw near to Him.